Elmer Cole: “I don’t think we’ll make it back to the pub tonight”

Trooper Elmer Cole spent nine hours driving a Churchill tank at Dieppe on Aug. 19, 1942, trying to hold off German forces and find a way past the obstacles inland. The stone beach was already littered with dead Canadians and disabled tanks from the King’s Own Calgary Regiment of the 1st Canadian Tank Brigade...
  • Douglas Gordon (Part 2): The troubles with Typhoons

    January 9, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    If the Germans didn’t get you, the Typhoon just might. Flying Officer Douglas Gordon knew it only too well. Between June and August 1944, 19 Allied squadrons—his own among them—lost hundreds of the hulking aircraft and 150 pilots, many of them due to engine or...
  • Douglas Gordon (Part 1): Bail out or glide for England

    December 26, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Given a choice between parachuting into the frigid waters of the English Channel or nursing his dying aircraft for as far as he could take it, Flying Officer Douglas Gordon chose what he saw as the lesser evil—and it may well have saved his life....
  • Christmas at war: Sent to Korea by mistake

    December 19, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    James Victor (Vic) Johnson was a 25-year-old second lieutenant still in training at the Royal Canadian School of Military Engineering in Chilliwack, B.C., when he was mistakenly tagged to go off to war just before Christmas 1951. The Eston, Sask., native had been in no...
  • Christmas at war: A cabin in the Hurtgen Forest

    December 12, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    It was Christmas Eve 1914. The Tommies of Britain’s Queen’s Westminster Regiment had returned to the frigid trenches the previous day, relieving regular troops after four days of rest. Suddenly, in the stillness and cold, the voice of a young farmer’s son, Edgar Aplin, rose...
  • Jaye Edwards: A woman pilot in wartime Britain

    December 5, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    As a child, Stella Joyce (Petersen) Edwards was always pushing boundaries. She grew up in Kent, England, the third daughter of an Australian trader, and whether it was scaling walls, climbing trees or riding her bicycle off into the countryside, Jaye, as she became known...
  • Citizens of War

    December 1, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    The faces of the long-suffering people of Afghanistan reflect their resolve and resilience Kabul, 2004. Afghan mothers comfort sick and dying children in a hospital all but void of equipment and medicine. Across the street, fathers, banned by convention from the wards, sleep on concrete...
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